I hope you are putting your best foot forward in strengthening your application. Some dental schools like Colorado and Boston University still have their applications open. The University of Colorado is part of CAAPID, but this time it has asked for a unique statement of purpose. In this article, I would be sharing some tips about writing a winning dental school personal statement to help you with your application.
What is a personal statement?
The statement of purpose is one of the most important essays representing your application. A dental school personal statement is a one-page essay (not exceeding 4,500 characters, including spaces, carriages, numbers, letters, etc.) that gives dental schools a clear picture of who you are and, most importantly, why you want to pursue a career in dentistry. Your goal of becoming a dentist is apparent, of course, but when you can show the admissions committee that you have thought more specifically about your goals, it reemphasizes the sincerity of your motivation. Furthermore, it also reassures the committee that you understand what becoming a doctor means, specifically that it is more than being a hero and getting to write D.D.S. after your name. Above all your personal statement is your chance to make a good first impression so that schools will want to interview you eventually.
What to write about in your statement
Before you start writing your dental school personal statement, it is crucial that you understand that you should write a personal statement that is unforgettable and interesting. One way that you can do this is by choosing the right theme. Choosing a theme for your personal statement is a serious task. You have to portray your past experiences and future expectations and immediately pull the reader into an interesting story.
Patient contact experiences, leadership stories, something that moved you to take up dentistry; such personal anecdotes illustrate why you want to be a dentist and are usually a good start of the statement. Besides, such real stories also engage the reader. You must stand out because of your individuality, not because of your desire to help people or because you have a dentist in your family who motivated you to take up the profession; common themes like these two may make the reader lose interest.
Give yourself time to organize your thoughts, write well and edit as necessary. Make your writing crisp and concise. Proofread multiple times. Writing the draft of your personal statement as the first thing for your application would give you ample time to revise and come back to it multiple times with better ideas.
How to write a perfect dental school personal statement
Some must-haves in your statement
- Being original and thoughtful
- Telling your story your own way
- Two- three personal anecdotes that helped you steer your career towards dentistry
- To maintain the reader’s interest, it should be written in a consistent format throughout, and it needs to sound like the same person.
- Since the main point of the essay is to give schools a sense of who you are, you must be genuine and open enough to let them see your personality. Furthermore, be honest about your feelings and experiences even if they aren’t entirely positive. However, make sure to explain yourself and what you have learned from that experience.
- Ask your mentor or any reviewing service to review your statement.
What to avoid in a personal statement
- Bad grammar and poor flow. Grammatical errors and typos indicate carelessness and a lack of interest.
- Pretentious quotes and other gimmicks
- Stating the obvious. Focus on the specifics and write only what is genuinely important to you mentioning about it in depth. Don’t make your essay fluffy. Don’t repeat what’s already in your CV.
- Unremarkable experiences and interests
- Bragging and arrogance
In a pile of thousands of applications, what makes yours outstanding? Keep asking yourself this question and I am sure you’ll present yourself in the best way possible. Your dental school personal statement is a chance to make a good first impression so that schools will want to eventually interview you. Best of luck!